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The MiningWatch Canada small grants fund paid for sampling expenses for the Yukon Conservation Society and Carmacks community members to conduct field investigations and analyse samples at the closed Mt. Nansen mine in the Yukon. The company is now bankrupt and the federal government is responsible for the clean-up. "We were worried about the health of the fish and wildlife in the area, so we sampled the water ourselves," said MiningWatch board member, Sarah Johnnie.
In mid-October two Kenyan human rights lawyers, Willy Matunga and Haron Ndubi, toured Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa to raise awareness about plans for a disastrous mine in southern Kenya. They visited NGOs and community groups, as well as representatives of the proponent, Tiomin Resources Inc. , the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) , the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) , and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) . Tiomin Resources Inc., a Toronto-based mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is expecting to strip-mine for titanium in the...
The revisions to the Metal Mining Liquid Effluent Regulations (MMLER) will be published this fall, probably in November. There will be a 60 day comment period before they become law. The regulations provide exemptions for the mining industry from Section 36 of the Fisheries Act. That section of the Act says it is illegal to put "deleterious substances in water frequented by fish." The MMLER sets allowable limits for toxics like arsenic, and for total suspended solids. At present, the regulations do not include mercury, cyanide or cadmium. Although this should mean that they cannot be dumped...
We successfully launched the video and report from this April's "On the Ground Research" workshop at a public event on September 14. Over seventy people attended the event, which was held at the International Development Research Centre . Roger Moody, in town to present his research report on mining in Burma, spoke about organising to protect the rights of communities affected by large-scale mining. The report is available in PDF format (in Spanish or English) or from MiningWatch Canada; copies of the video (in English) are available on request.
Scabs and management are keeping the nickel mines and smelter operating at Falconbridge Nickel Mines in Sudbury, Ontario. The Union ( MineMill Local 598 of the Canadian Auto Workers) has been out on strike since August 1, protesting contracting out, wage rollbacks and other measures that will "gut the collective agreement" if implemented. The strikers suspect the company's intransigence is a result of the recent purchase of 49.9% of Falconbridge by Noranda Inc., and the desire of Noranda to bring the Sudbury operation closer to the level of costs in their operations in Peru, Chile and other...
With First Nations, angry residents of north Eastern Ontario, and environmentally conscious people around the world, Brennain Lloyd of Northwatch (our co-chair) is claiming victory in the struggle to stop the plans to ship Toronto's garbage 600 kilometres north by rail and dump it in an abandoned Kirkland Lake mine. Toronto cancelled the contract at the last minute, after having pushed it through city council. Carol McBride, chief of the Temiskaming First Nation, had said that with Toronto's council approval of the plan, she expected a wave of civil disobedience by northern Ontarians. "When...
The urgency of abandoned mines clean-up is becoming increasingly obvious to federal decision-makers. This summer, MiningWatch Canada has been working with the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and officials at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to come up with a plan that will: Create a database and inventory of all mines (operating and closed) in the country, including physical and chemical site assessments; Develop a transparent and effective system for ranking hazards and the need for remediation at mines; Develop mechanisms for emergency response at sites; Develop a funding mechanism to...
In 1995, the federal government issued a "Guide to Green Government" and the Auditor General Act was amended to made sustainable development an integral part of federal policy. All 28 federal departments were asked to develop and table sustainable development strategies in accordance with the Act. The first three-year departmental sustainable development strategies were tabled in Parliament in 1997. The 1995 amendments also established the office of the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development, whose rôle is to help Parliament and the Canadian public monitor...
Gaining Ground: Women, Mining and the Environment was a two-day gathering held at Lake LaBerge, Yukon, September 15-17, 2000. It brought together women from Yukon communities affected by mining and women from elsewhere with experience in the health, science, and social science sectors. The gathering broke new ground in recognizing and understanding the impacts of mining on communities and families, as well as the interrelationship between women, mining, and the environment, and it set clear directions for moving forward. The idea for the gathering grew out of the recognized absence...
MiningWatch Canada Backgrounder 1. Sanctions do not include investment. Investment is not included in the sanctions imposed by Canada on Burma in 1997. The sanctions were restricted to imports and exports. According both the First Dynasty and Ivanhoe Mines Annual Information Returns 2000, "the sanctions in their current form do not affect the company's investments in Myanmar". US sanctions include investment. 2. No Residency requirement. A Corporation is a resident of Canada for tax purposes if its central management and control are located in Canada or if it is incorporated in Canada. A...